ROLLIN' WITH DOLAN: What I'm Thankful For| 11/19/09 11:00pm
Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year. The food is great it's perfectly acceptable to eat like an American, and you get to have that post-Thanksgiving dinner nap. I mean, the nap alone makes the whole holiday worth it. You get to fall asleep watching football, you're surrounded by your family and your dog is probably snoring somewhere near you it's just great. Seriously, can you think of a better nap than that? If you exclude substance-induced ones, it's not even a contest.
The other great thing about Thanksgiving is the family game of touch football. I love this tradition for two reasons: One, there's nothing funnier than seeing grandparents and older aunts and uncles getting really competitive with each other. I'll never forget one time in particular when my 81-year-old grandpa, who could probably count on his hand the number of times he's played football in his life, had just caught the luckiest pass I've ever seen. After the play, his 79-year-old brother-in-law, who was guarding him, comes back to our huddle and goes, "God dammit, I'm shutting that guy down the rest of day!" The game ended a few plays later when both of them hurt themselves attempting to dive for a ball. True story.
The other reason I love Thanksgiving family football? You can put up some serious stats in any game where half the players remember where they were when JFK was shot. You feel like Michael Vick must have when he was playing prison ball with inmates.
Bottom line: If your family doesn't usually have a Thanksgiving football game, I highly recommend adding that to the itinerary.
A tradition more of us probably have in common, however, is the annoying "Go around the table and say what you are thankful for." All you want to do is start eating, but instead you have to say something that requires thinking. The worst part is, if you half-ass it or don't say something meaningful, you get heckled until you do.
That said, I guess it's not all bad, as it is one of the few times no one frowns at you if you're a male and you show emotion. The other situations I can think of that fall into that category are births, deaths and when watching "Love Actually" or "The Notebook." For some reason, general consensus on those two movies is that it's OK for males to like them.
But, without further ado, in honor of this tradition I've decided to go around the world of sports and look at some of the things people will be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
(1) Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels: Thankful for all those times Jay Cutler launches a wild throw and it gets intercepted.
(2) The New York Yankees: Thankful that the $1,578,287,197 the team has spent on player salaries since its last World Championship has finally paid off.
Also, hey Red Sox fans: David Ortiz lied to you, Manny got caught still using steroids and the Yankees won the World Series again. Sorry "Sawks."
(3) The Brigham Young University women's soccer team: Thankful they managed to avoid any of the blame for that game against New Mexico. If you watch the clips, many of the Brigham Young women were being almost as dirty as the New Mexico player, yet she took all the heat.
Although, to be fair, nothing the Brigham Young women did quite matched that pony-tail tackle. On a scale of dirtiness, that move probably falls somewhere between Commodus stabbing Maximus right before they fight in "Gladiator" and Robert De Niro slashing Cuba Gooding Jr.'s tool bag before his diver certification test in "Men of Honor."
(4) Chris Johnson fantasy owners: Thankful that Christmas comes early every single week. Also thankful Lendale White lost 15 pounds this off-season, ironically making him no longer a factor in the Titans running game.
(5) Recently fired Bills head coach Dick Jauron: Thankful he no longer has to be on the 24/7 suicide watch included in every contract Terrell Owens signs these days.
(6) Colts head coach Jim Caldwell: Thankful to have by far the easiest head coaching job in the NFL thanks to Peyton Manning. Seriously, imagine if the situation on Sunday night was reversed so that the Colts were winning and facing a fourth-and-two. If Jim Caldwell goes, "Hey Peyton, I think we are going to go for it," and Peyton responds, "No coach, we are actually punting it." Who wins? We both know the answer.
That's all I got, Happy Thanksgiving.